Gabriel Trujillo Wiki – Gabriel Trujillo Biography
Gabriel Trujillo, 31, a botanist and fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Integrative Biology, was shot seven times on June 19 in the northwestern state of Sonora and his body was discovered three days later, his family said. Trujillo, who drove across the Arizona border into Nogales on June 17, told her fiancée, Roxanne Cruz de Hoyos, the morning of her death that she would go out to collect plants and then return to her home. Airbnb. He was concerned when Trujillo didn’t reply and his Airbnb hosts said he hadn’t returned, so he hopped on a plane and flew to Mexico to help look for him.
On June 22, authorities made the gruesome discovery of his body inside a van about 62 miles from the Airbnb, Cruz said. Trujillo’s father, Anthony Trujillo, flew from his Michigan home to Mexico and joined Cruz-de Hoyos, but they said they have received little information and are urging the US and Mexican governments to help. “Evidently, he was in the wrong place,” Trujillo told the Associated Press on Thursday before boarding a flight home with the remains of his tragic son. The Sonora state prosecutor’s office said in a statement that he was analyzing evidence “to establish the facts, conditions, and causes of death,” which he did not classify as a homicide. UC Berkeley in Northern California said it received news of Trujillo’s death on June 23. “Local police authorities are investigating. This is heartbreaking news and campus officials have reached out to his family to offer support and assistance,” the school said in a statement. A GoFundMe page also announced Trujillo’s death.
“Gabriel was and he is beyond what words can express. He was brilliant, genuine, talented, adventurous, brave, generous, and most of all, unfailingly kind and caring to everyone,” wrote organizer Cruz. He was a son, brother, beloved family member, fiancé, and friend. He was a deeply spiritual Dancer and was reconnecting with his indigenous Opata and Nahua ancestry,” he said. “Her celebration of life for him in the Bay Area will be an Aztec Dance Ceremony that Gabriel would have sorely desired. As he attended another funeral for Danzante, he shared with his fiancée that one day when he passed away, he wanted this ceremony more than anything,” Cruz continued. “Please know that Gabriel is still with you. He was and is a deeply spiritual person whose love is limitless and eternal. When you remember him, he will want you to be happy. This is how we can celebrate his life,” he added.
Gabriel Trujillo was 31 years old.
Who was Gabriel Trujillo?
Born March 4, 1992, in Arizona, Trujillo later moved his blended family to Michigan, where he and his siblings lived in a predominantly white neighborhood. “We were like the Mexican Brady Bunch,” said his father. Trujillo attended boarding school in New Mexico and earned his bachelor’s degree from Lake Forest College in Illinois. A Ford Foundation Fellow, he was on track to complete his Ph.D. at Berkeley in 2025. Trujillo, whose mother, Gloria, died of cancer about 10 years ago, has crisscrossed the US and Mexico for the past four years in search of a flowering shrub called the common bush. He wanted to know why it thrived in climates as varied as the US, Canada, and Mexico, and whether the evolution of the species offered possibilities for future habitat conservation and restoration efforts. He and his fiancée, a postdoctoral fellow who researches widespread tree mortality, often traveled together in their big red pickup to collect specimens. Eventually, he wanted to apply his research to build a garden in Mexico and use the buttonbush for wetland restoration. “We were committed to dedicating our lives to environmental conservation and environmental research,” Cruz de Hoyos told the AP. “We feel that indigenous hands have cared for these lands since time immemorial.”
The couple shared ancestry in the Nahua indigenous group, which has ties to the Aztec civilization in Mexico. Cruz de Hoyos had undergone fertility treatments for the past two years and Trujillo’s tragic trip to Mexico was supposed to be the last before the couple began trying to get pregnant. They had bought a house together and were planning a wedding led by an indigenous elder for the end of the year. Instead, the grieving woman will honor Trujillo with an Aztec Dance ceremony, an indigenous spiritual tradition, in the San Francisco Bay Area after his father celebrates a Catholic funeral mass in Michigan. His family had pleaded with him not to go to Sonora, a drug-ridden area that had recorded 518 homicides through May, but Trujillo believed the trip was vital to his investigation. The US Department of State urges Americans to “reconsider traveling” to Sonora “due to crime and kidnapping.” Sonora is a key location used by international drug trafficking and people smuggling networks. Violent crime is widespread,” the department warns on its website. Gabe was a passionate ecologist, field biologist, and advocate for diverse voices in science,” the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley noted in an email to the campus community. “We are all facing a world that is less bright as a result of this loss.”